From gaslighting to straight-up fraud here we go!
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Full Episode Transcription:
Hi, my name is CarliAnna and you’re listening to another episode of see over it.
Hello, and welcome back to episode three. I am really excited for this episode. This is one of my favorite one, we’ve only done two others that are like this. Oh, I’m gonna turn off that I’ve only done two episodes of this. And this is our nightmare client story episode. This one well, slightly traumatizing, is also equally hilarious. And I promise you will feel so much comfort in this episode, knowing that there are people out there just like you. And you’re not the only one getting crazy clients.
We’ve also kind of made an update to this episode where I asked everybody who sent in a story I also kind of ask them like, Hey, how did you heal from this what’s like the lesson learned? Because I think it’s very helpful to be able to hear these types of stories. But I also want us to be able to get something from it and to hear the other side of it and to hear that yes, I came back from this. Here’s what I did instead. And now this is not happening anymore. And I think that’s gonna be really really helpful.
But before we get started in this we’re gonna do our snacks and trucks segment. Okay, um, we’re going to start with the snacks this time because I am appalled at myself that I haven’t been talking about this yet. You guys have seen me maybe I want to check my Instagram talked about this a little bit. But this has been like my fixation food for the past like four months maybe I’m obsessed with this and I can’t believe I haven’t talked about it yet. But it is hummus toast. Wait, no, I’ve already talked about this. Have I talked about this? Nope, I have talked about this. Just kidding. We’re not going to do almost
scratch all that. So we’re gonna do snacks and tracks and instead of like the snack section actually talking about a snack. What we’re gonna do, because I love this just as much as snacks. We’re gonna talk about the current sweatshirt that I’m obsessed with, which I’m kind of embarrassed about because, like, I know it’s not something that anybody needs and trust me I don’t want to like put something in your mind. Like you have to have this and all and cool people have this or whatever. It’s just honestly something that gives me true comfort and makes me feel so awesome when I’m working from home because it’s equally cozy as it is Q and I have this in multiple colors and it is just like I seriously wear it probably three times a week. It is seriously just amazing. It is the Nike oversize hoodie. It’s just like the plain Nike oversized hoodie, but it is I’ll have to next week when this like airs I’m definitely gonna add the Tick Tock where I kind of like show it onto my store so you guys can see it but is honestly just cropped in the best way possible. It just is so flattering. And honestly like I don’t understand like why so many people are obsessed with it.
What’s that? What is that Lululemon sweatshirt that everyone’s obsessed with the I’m gonna do a quick Google and Google to look it up Lululemon. What is the scuba the scuba hoodie because I ordered so I’ve actually had the oversize version of this Nike hoodie for a long time like maybe a year and a half, two years. And I wear it all the time I wear it like once or twice a week. And then I ordered another one because it was on sale during Black Friday and I also got the matching sweat pants with it and I got the blue color this time and I also didn’t get it like oversized long one I got like the cropped oversized one, which I got a large and it wasn’t to crop like it was the perfect length of cropped anyway so I got that and I also got the scuba hoodie and it ordered them both at the same time. So they both came to me at the same time and I had already been wearing my new Nike blue sweatshirt for a long time. And after wearing that for like a week and then I put the scuba hoodie on I was like you get this thing off of my body like why would I want this like $120 sweatshirt that is not even comfy like it’s just okay i don’t know like it’s not bad. But like after wearing the Nike one I was like this is so much cuter so much flat more flattering. And the color I don’t know just everything about it I like better. And it’s way cheaper. Like even when it’s not on sale. It’s like $60 which I know is still kind of a lot but like again, I’ve had it for years and I am waiting for another sale to go on Nike to get the green one because I think it’s so freakin cute but literally just type in Nike oversized sweatshirt. and you’re gonna find it I’m sure the matching sweat pants will come with it come up with it I’ve also gotten them on ASOS I’ve gotten them on urban outfitters like this is like the signature Nike hoodie but it is my favorite if you’re gonna invest in good loungewear I think this is where you need to start… not Lululemon, they have some good leggings though. But I think the sweatshirt latest Nike still owns that game and like Lululemon can’t touch it.
Okay. Tracks What am I listening to? First a notable mention to sweet old not old, why did I say old? Miley Cyrus with the best diss track ever? And if you’re hiding under a rock and you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go listen to flowers by Miley Cyrus. The amount of easter eggs in that track is amazing. Like Taylor Swift who know Miley Cyrus Miley Swift. I cannot talk today. Miley Cyrus is owning putting your exes like making an ex revenge song. I think this is the best one apparently Shakira also had a really good one I honestly haven’t listened to it. But notable notable mentioned for that one because it is so good. She like released it on lamb homesource worst birthday. She also recorded the music video at her exes. She recorded the music video at the Airbnb or wherever it was that Liam Hemsworth used to teach on her to teach on her Why can I not talk where Liam Hemsworth used to cheat on her in the music video. She was also like doing his workout routine or whatever, in her swimsuit. And she like, in the song too. She like puts a spin on the song that Liam Hemsworth dedicated to her and was like, I can do my own thing I can do this like it’s all me. I don’t know. It’s a Bruno Mars song. You know, I should have bought you flowers. I should have held your hand that she like basically reverses that and is like, I can buy my own flowers I can on my hometown hand. Because that’s the song that Liam Hemsworth dedicated to her. So anyway, it’s just a quick notable mention I feel like I had to.
But also the book that I feel like I really want to talk about and if you’ve been following me on Instagram stories, you know, the book tres. I freaking love this book. You I might have talked about the Brandon Sanderson series that were coming out this year. Like last year, because last year, Brandon Sanderson came out with a Kickstarter, which if you don’t know who Brandon Sanderson is, he is like the God of fantasy, like fantasy books. Don’t even like He’s the god I’m sorry. Sorry, Jay mass move over. Brandon. Matt. Brandon Sanderson just is the king of this. I’m so sorry to say that I love Aylan I love Throne of Glass. I love A Court of Thorns and Roses. But like, it just does not even compare to anything that Brandon Sanderson does, like his stuff is truly a work of art and is like, just gorgeous. The characters the world building. Sarah J Mass is awesome. And I love her. But it feels a little bit like comparing the Kardashians with what’s a good comparison the Kardashians with it feels a little bit like comparing the Kardashians with Lord of the Rings. You know what I mean? Both are very entertaining. Both have value, but just different. You know, I mean, so anyways, Brandon Sanderson, came out with a Kickstarter back in 2020. And in his Kickstarter, he basically was like, Hey, I have four brand new books that I want to I think he wanted to self publish them. But basically, he was like, if you want to get be the first ones to get your hand on him, you can like join my Kickstarter and get these four books before anyone else does. So I have been legit waiting a year for these books. And the first one dropped on January 4, I think. And I finished it within like a week. It was so good. The book is called Tres, obviously by Brandon Sanderson. And a few of you guys messaged me, and I can’t find it either. But it’s not on Audible for some reason. It’s only on Spotify, which is so wild to me. I mean, let me look right now and see if it’s on Audible now. Let’s see. Yeah, no, it’s still not on Audible. You can only get it on Spotify and on Kindle.
And I do recommend listening to the audible version of this because the narrator is 10 out of 10 He does such a good job. The whole book has such a good like Princess and the bride vibes. Like this is one of the funnest adventures you will ever go on. It’s a complete like, different fantasy than I’ve ever read. It’s so cozy like it just feels like a fun adventure that like you’re joining along for the ride. The characters aren’t like a deal you and like I’m going to survive. I have and like, I’m the ultimate one with all the powers and I’m so crazy and talented like untalented, but I’m so crazy talented, which I love. Don’t get me wrong, like that is my favorite trope, you know, like girl finds out she has powers girl save the world, that type of thing. But this is a cozy fantasy where the main character wants to do nothing but collect cups. She doesn’t want to go on this crazy. I don’t know adventure, but like she’s being rational and she wants to, I don’t know, she just wants to. And she’s totally rational about the entire experience. She goes and she like talks to her parents before embarking out on this adventure that she feels like she has to go on. Like, it’s just really different and really fun. And the characters are really really cute. I love them the love story again, it’s like Princess and The Princess and the bride. The love story is very, very cute. I was very entranced. And then what else do I want to say at this Oh, and the end, the twist at the end was also really, really good. It’s just, I just feel like this book has got everything. It’s just a really good solid 10 out of 10 story. It’s got pirates, it’s got dragons, it’s got an umbrella, it’s like it’s just got all the things for just a really good cool fantasy book. And I highly recommend it this plus Hail Mary got me out of a reading slump. I is definitely going in one of my top five books of the year, maybe top five of all time is just a really, really good book. So I’m a little nervous to like start reading different books again, because Hail Mary plus tres like, I’ve been starting out the year with both of those books and I’m honestly not quite sure how I’m going to top those. So we’ll see.
Okay, now we’re gonna go quickly do a little update on what’s happening within CarliAnna. And just my life update, okay, so the past two weeks have been just a little insane. Like our therapist that works with LJ, she was sick for a while. And then she had to come in and do in home therapy, which was really helpful and really, really good. But that meant I had to be there during all of his therapy sessions, which if you’re not aware, we do 30 hours of therapy a week. So that was 30 hours of time that I just had to, you know, allocate towards him that I wasn’t necessarily planning on which is good, it was really helpful. I’m really glad we did it. But again, it’s hard when you’re trying to work at a new office and have to dedicate 30 hours to have someone else um I don’t know what’s going on and, and then our nanny got sick. It’s just been like a week, not even a week, but like two weeks where I feel like I was really wanting to come back from Christmas break and just like get working and get back into my normal life and then to like, be thrown all these things where it’s like, JK, you’re not going to be able to get back into your normal life, because nobody else is going to you know what I mean? Like, you’re gonna have to be, you’re gonna have to be there in a million different places for a million different people. It again was good, but like, I’m tired. I am really, really tired.
Sometimes I feel like, my life is literally just for other people. And I know that sounds like weird words like, Yeah, isn’t that kind of like the point of living is to like, help people. And it’s not all about yourself, but like, sometimes I go a whole day and I’m like, I don’t think I did one thing for myself. Like literally, I was on calls for other people I didn’t. I was doing things for my kids. I was cleaning the house for my kit, you and Amy. Like I didn’t even get to work on something that like I wanted to work on today. And so that’s also why I’ve started waking up at 5am which I know sounds crazy, but like I need to have something in my day that I get to choose. And that is solely for me and only me like the working out benefits nobody, maybe my husband but like really I work out for me what I mean, like, and it’s just like a time where I get to push myself and feel really, really powerful. And so that has honestly been the only thing that’s been in keeping me alive and sane. And well, these past two weeks, but other than that, we’re in the thick of a lot which with hh, TD, and by the time you guys listen to this, HH TD will be over and will be in the launch of 10k girl gang, which if you want to join 10k girl gang, now is the best time to join because we’re obviously in the middle of bringing in a new group. And that’s crazy. It’s fun. It’s, it’s, uh, if you’re honest, I cannot talk
. If you’re a subscriber on my Instagram, and you’ve been seeing, I’ve been basically giving you like, behind the scenes, Instagram updates, of like, how the launch is going, and just how I’m dealing with it. I’m treating my Instagram subscription. As like, I don’t know, like, literally, here’s what I’m doing with my business today. And here’s what’s hard. And here’s how we’re doing it. So if you want that content of like, literally like the whole behind the scenes, and just really, really honest, marketing and business advice, it’s $5 a month or something, I’d be helpful. But I’m kind of updating you guys. And it’s been funny, because it’s not doing as well as it did last year, it’s still doing very, very well. So I don’t want to sound ungrateful or like, wow, it’s all about the numbers, because it’s not all about the numbers. And I’m so excited for what’s to come. But it’s just funny to see how like, I don’t know, it’s funny that you just can’t talk. It’s just something that like you can’t get wrapped up in the numbers. It’s another reminder that like numbers don’t, numbers don’t matter. And it’s all about like helping people and just being authentic to yourself. And when you are launching something and you’re trying to do something that’s you’ve done again, or it’s totally new, you have to be flexible, and you have to try new things. And you have to just go with the flow because nothing is ever going to be the same like I like literally we watched this six months ago. And then we’re doing the exact same thing again, and the numbers are not the same as they were last time. And so we’re like, cool. Like, we got to figure this out, we got to try something new. And so now mid launch, we’re like doing a bunch of new marketing things and new pushes to try and see what happens because this is new stuff that we’re not working on, we’re not used to.
So anyways, that’s like a very real honest thing of like what we’re going through right now. But now, we’re going to get into the bulk of today’s episode, where we’re going to be talking about our client nightmare stories. Here we go. I’m going to start with the first one, we’re just gonna get right into it. Okay, here we go. Here’s our first stories. And also, I want to say thank you to everyone who submitted stories and made the podcast possible and I really, really appreciate it.
Okay, so this person said, so this is way before raising my prices, where they should be now. And I had a client asked me to do a logo design for her brand. I’m all for the black owned business as I am too. And she loved the sketches and what I had offered, however, this is where the I need this changed and it needs to pop comes in. This was only supposed to take a month, maybe a month and a half. And it took almost a year. Because I kept getting something is off and I did a 11 Yes a 11 revisions, she was even trying to ask for an extra logo to the lack of communication was horrible. And I had times to where I wouldn’t hear from her from weeks, I wouldn’t get I would get excuses like my internet was down, my phone crashed, or I couldn’t open the attachment for whatever. I never heard that one that someone couldn’t open the attachment or whatever I had said at the time for the colors I had literally sent her the entire monochrome chromatic color scheme for the for the purple she wanted because her screen was displaying the right shade even after giving her the hex codes for each color to use. Okay, that’s pretty good. I’ve never had a client have that many technical difficulties with just trying to show the colors that’s funny.
Then she insulted me about it saying it looked photoshopped. I had to tell her I have never created or designed logos in Photoshop logos are designed in Illustrator. And I had to tell her in order to receive a brand new concept because because I would have to draft a whole new proposal and congrats. She didn’t want it. She didn’t want that. Oh, my gosh. I did try to cancel and I was ready to count as a loss where she was like, no, she felt like I was almost there. I was at the point to when I got it finished. It will well I cannot talk. I was at the point to where I get it finished. It will be no more revisions. It got done eventually. And after that I raised it plus getting a new lawyer drafted lawyer drafted contract. And then I went on and I asked her I was like hey, tell me if there’s anything else that you feel like really helped you and she said one thing that she did do that help Turn not do this again. And to recover from this was to raise her prices. Because at the time it’s she said she was only charging $500. So that is a pretty a why? I’ve never had anyone tell me like this looks photoshopped, like that is so offensive. Like I don’t even think people understand how offensive that is. Especially when it’s like you get drilled to you and design score anywhere that like you do not open Photoshop as a designer doing a logo, because that’s like the ultimate crime that you commit. So to have a client that knows nothing to accuse you of the ultimate crime. No, absolutely not. I’m glad we ditched her and glad it’s over 11 revisions is way, way too much.
Okay, this next one is a long one. It’s a good one, though. And I I almost saved this one to the end, because this is probably one of the craziest ones. And I really related to this one, it reminds me a little too closely of the client that tried to sue me this year. So here we go. Story number two, I used to subcontract work out for another designer, how Shopify sites to another designer, I enjoyed working with her, I trusted her and had no bad experiences. She had a client of her own where she did the branding, which she doesn’t specialize in. And so Shopify site, they were in the business for a couple years. And they felt like they wanted a brand strategy at this point in their business, they had started quickly and open their storefront and one of the clear and defined guidelines of who they were, who their audience was their logos, and your color palette, types of system, etc. They felt it was hard with the employees to communicate these things, and they wanted to clear social media, etc. So their web designer recommended me because I was offering brand strategy. So I had a call with them. And I should have listened to my gut because I knew she seemed very hard to work with. She questioned everything and needed a thorough explanation of everything, of everything. So guys, seriously, listen to your gut. This is my side note, by the way, listen to your gut. If someone is like needing to be convinced on the sales call, or in your Instagram, DMS, it’s not even worth it. Like I never want to have to push a client to work with me, they don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be there either. Like that doesn’t sound fun. Even if it’s a lot of money, don’t do it guys. After our call, there were just so many emails from her. And I was just constantly reassuring her for what the package included and how it would help their internal team to make sure they were all on the same page. And they would have a cohesive strategy for their business going forward. She agreed and paid a deposit sign the contract done deal, the date for her project approaches and I send them the workbook that they that we will be going over in the two hour call. So they are prepped and know what I will be asking them. That’s a really good idea. I like that we have to call her and her business partner are so pumped and so eager, and they’re seeing how much fun they are having going through the workbook together and said again, at the end of the call how awesome it was. The next week, I did further market research on the competitors and gave them a presentation on that as well as a presentation on defined audience persona profiles. Feedback was great. She was happy. Oh, no.That’s the worst one to one. Like you don’t see these types of stories coming and you’re like No, literally, like everything was going good. I had so many good feedback presentations, and then bam, something bad happens.
Okay, we’re gonna keep going. We move on to the color palette and type system phase I give two options, one that lean toward what they submitted in a Pinterest board and one that I thought the direction should be explained it thoroughly in a video of presentation claps deal. Well done, girl took a while for the feedback, but she wanted to schedule a phone call. And then when it came to it, she couldn’t make the call. But her partner said Oh, no. Her partner said I liked the one that you suggest. And she likes the other one. No. And I said okay, here’s why I think this discuss make your decision owner gets back to me in a couple of days and said, Hey, we want to go with this one, which was the one that she had originally wanted and not the one oh wait. It was the one that they had originally wanted and not the one that she had suggested. So she said okay, fine, clients decision as you should clean. Then she says, I want new labels for our jars. And I said okay, we can do that before I finish your brand guideline document so we can include the finished labels in there for the design application section makes sense. She is suddenly pushing back so much and nitpicking every single little detail, move this image a little more space here or try this here. multiple phone calls and emails in the radio silence. She’s taking forever to get back. What the heck is going on? I get a call from her a week later. And she says so we might be closing our storefront. Lots of factors but mainly our location has a lot of construction so people can’t get to us and I can’t find childcare. You’re okay. Then she goes on to say, but nothing with your business is changing we are, we aren’t going anywhere, we might just do it online, we are moving forward with project.
Okay, I have to stop here. Because if anyone is saying like, don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Like, don’t worry like this is all going to be fine. It’s not, it’s not if they feel the need to say that to you, when you didn’t ask like, it’s probably gonna be fine. Oh my gosh. So I finished our 30 page brand guidelines document each piece of information in here, and they have provided an approval. So all of the written sections about their brand that I did, that they had approved, color palette type system labels, everything they saw and approved everything that was going into this document, I send the final invoice, I get a call. I can continue because it’s very is so bad. And it brings like so many flashbacks. And so this is what they said on the call. Why would I pay you for this when I haven’t even seen the final document. And I say, well as per contract, the final file will not be delivered to you until the final invoice is paid again, as you should queen. And she says, How can you conduct your business like this, I am paying a lot of money for this service. And I can’t even see what it is before I’m getting it. Like as if she hasn’t seen this before and approved everything. I say, you know you knew this before had I explained to you in your proposal and you signed the contract that states this. I cannot give you a 30 Plus page document to you without payment because you could end up not paying me for it. After it’s delivered. That’s why policy is in place. And she says this is ridiculous. My husband is a videographer. And he would never ask a payment before it gets video like okay, that is your problem, their husband’s problem? Just because he does it, it doesn’t mean a it’s standard practice or be that it’s a good one. Like he should definitely get payment before he delivers the video. Like no good videographer would ever say that. You shouldn’t do that. In my head, I’m like Kay, that’s his problem. Good luck with that. Yeah, I agree with you. I say Look, everything is in the document you’ve approved, you know, every single piece of information in here. And I’ve spent the time now making it look good. So there’s absolutely no surprises in this document. And she says I can’t pay for this if I don’t get to see it. And then she proceeds to say, I’ve been so disappointed this entire process. We did most of the work because we went through the workbook before our call and told you all of our answers. And then she did like a dead emoji.
We already knew of our competitors and your research and we just aren’t happy at all. Like, this is the kind of like shows that people pull that I’m like, No, you you are 110% lying. Like there’s absolutely no way you are dissatisfied this whole time when you have stated over and over again that you have been happy and you had so many times and opportunities to to be able to be like, hey, look, let me know what you’re thinking. Like, you are able to say that you are dissatisfied with things. And I like just truly like don’t understand how people can just completely go back on their word and be like, Nope, I haven’t been happy this entire time. It’s like, do you have like any memory recollection, like, memory recollection at all? Like, are you not embarrassed? I don’t I don’t get it and then it makes you feel crazy because you’re like, is there something that I didn’t see? Like? Did they ever say that they weren’t unhappy? Like Did I do something this whole time? It’s just so frustrating gaslighting one on one. So anyway, she goes on to say, I’m like what? I have no idea you’re dissatisfied. You reassured me and gave me great feedback every step if you are disappointed at any point I would have liked to have known so I could have rectified that. Yes, exactly. Uh huh. You go clean. At this point. I’m wrestling with this. I should have just spent months I’ve just spent months on this project. I’ve been trying to reassure her and be kind and she’s just being brutal. She decides to take the weekend to cool off reconvene on Monday. And then she posts on their IG that their business is closing but it’s uh See you later not combined. They’re temporarily leaving but they will be back and I don’t hear from her all week. I make a video presentation of the entire document showing her every page I say I don’t do this but I want her to be reassured what’s in it. Wow, you’re a seriously awesome like you went above and beyond and you totally didn’t have to so you’re awesome. I explained an email that this is what I go over in the video and this was back in July. She has still not even watched the video. She has not even responded to a single email she has completely ghosted me and has not paid that is so freakin annoying. And it’s probably not even enough where like you could do anything legally.
Gosh, I hate people. I 100% believe Her business began to sink and our brand guidelines would have become obsolete because they were going to have to change their business model. And she would have tried to blame it all on me let it because she was not satisfied the whole time and couldn’t see the final document before she paid. So it was my fault and she just dropped off the face of the earth, which I 100% agree with. And then I asked her Ouch, I just hit my leg. I started like, tell me girl, like how did you heal from this? Because yeah, I went through something really similar to this. And she said, this was a really dark time when it happened. And it hit me very deeply and emotionally I took it very personally, I second guessed my entire brand strategy process and my entire business in general. To be honest, it was amazing how one client can have such a negative effect on you and you have dozens of other happy and wonderful clients. It took a few months for me to really accept and come to the conclusion that it was a her issue and not a me issue. She gaslighted me and made me feel like my entire process was awful. What I know is just because her entire business model was changing and everything we did after that was becoming hospital obsolete. Once I accepted that I was not able wow, I was able to move on but it’s still tough not having closer because she hasn’t even watched the video or even had the human decency to contact me I’m a huge people pleaser by nature. So it’s just been a tough one to navigate. Oh my gosh, this one I I felt the feels with this one if I’m being totally honest, because again, this really reminded me of like the client that I had this year that totally tried to sue me. And it was pretty much the same thing. Like their business was like starting to go under and so they wanted to change everything. And I was like Kay bibs, we can’t do that and just going back and forth on a million different things and finally we fired them actually and we were like we cannot keep doing this like we we are not a good fit. And then they were like hey we want all the money back it was just so crazy and and then after I was like yeah, no you’re not getting the money back like but we’ve been so dissatisfied this entire time I’m like what like I can’t How can you even say that like I just truly don’t understand the advice of these people and it’s so hard to recover from this again even when you know like I know I’m in the right I know this is like an okay thing what I did but like still like to have someone to your face tell you how horrible of a person you aren’t like it’s gonna mess with your head gosh this is it’s a hard one so I’m so sorry this happened to you too. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.
Okay, oh this one we have a whole list there’s a lot of voice messages we have a long voice message for this one so I’m going to play it for you guys. Okay, scratch that we’re gonna do this story. Okay, next story. This person said I had a lead who wanted to speak over the phone for the discovery call, rather than on Zoom were the part where they usually take place. As part of my process. This would mean sharing my phone number with the client, immediate red flag. And she said, my gut was telling me no, don’t do it. And yeah, you should not have done it. Out of sheer desperation of wanting to book the lead, I gave my phone number away. And the next mistake I made was not letting the client lead was letting the client lead the call. And then she said the call not only Dragon Emperor forever, but I didn’t present myself as a professional business owner. And the sex when you’re like so thrown off, though, I thought you were so thrown off with your eat. You’re like the phone number thing. Like I think that’s another reason why people like want to do the phone call over like resumes because they know they can like own it. And it’s like on their terms, you know what I mean? Nonetheless, the client did book the project and I was actually very excited to dig into this new website design once I had handed. Once I handed the completed design to the client ready for the refinement stage of the process, I was met with constant messages on my phone, the changes they want it oh my gosh, you can imagine the overwhelm I was feeling the refinement stage is very normal part of the process. But what’s not normal is the lack of organization that was taking place. I did initially stayed on my contract that all communication including feedback was to take place via email, however, at this client knowingly disregarded this and just sent me a flood of messages every single day. And this kept things very messy, unorganized and unprofessional the client wasn’t respecting my boundaries and the constant messaging was taking place.
And did I mention that the project ended up being way out of scope and I ended up doing so much more work for the very little that I was charging I frickin story of like, people’s lives like I I believe 100% that this happened because I feel like again, people just don’t respect people’s time they don’t respect people’s phone numbers if they’re not going to respect like your messages and your personal time they’re not going to respect your boundaries and respect your like scope of work is just so dumb. and then oh, and then I went down and I asked her I said hey, so how did you handle this? How did you deal how did you cope? And she responded she said as a learning experience for a business I definitely learned the importance of having systems and processes in place and being strict with your boundaries that the clients will respect even if they’re not a red flag client and always listen to your gut feeling if your gut is telling you not to work with a client then you can always say no it is your business and saying no always leads to a yes opportunity that wouldn’t have otherwise come your way. I am a huge believer in this like I don’t know how the magical universe works I have no idea but one thing that I do know with every ounce and fiber of my being is that when you say no to a crappy Person A yes awesome person will come your way like it’s just guaranteed magic like I don’t make the rules I don’t write them but like that’s what happens and so just know when you say no, like you’re like cool I’m so happy to say this note because that means the universe is now obligated to send me a really awesome yes so get excited the next time that you have to say no, because I don’t make the rules that’s how it works I don’t know why the footsies aren’t working it’s it’s so frustrating
Okay, let’s get a few more stories in here. Here’s one. Here’s a funny story. It was a quick one. She said one time I worked with a massive brand I was taking probably 50% I’m talking probably 50% of women know who this woman is. Her stuff is for targeted etc. Anyways, okay, pause really quick. This person signed an NDA because I was like girl tell me who it is like I want to know so bad. I have been racking my brain for who this is and I want to know so badly. So if you can think of anyone who is very widely known has products in Sephora and target like please He’s brainstorm with me because I want to know who this person is so bad the only person I could kind of think of was Amber’s foot filler up. But like she can do no wrong. I refuse to believe that this story was affiliated with her. I love her. And also, I don’t think her products are in target. The only other person I could think of was like, maybe a celebrity that has like some kind of makeup line. Maybe, I don’t know. Send, send your thoughts and ideas, and we’ll brainstorm together. Anyway, so she says, her fiance calls me also this person needs to have or had a fiancee, another clue. Okay. Her fiance calls me and literally says, immediately after I pick up, hey, blank, all I’ll bleep out this person’s name. So we can leave this story anonymous. It’s Dennis. So you’re giving us a discount, right? Because I don’t think copy even has any value. And I can write a website myself. Girl, when I tell you I want to talk to the phone. Again, the audacity that people have to like say these things to people’s faces. Like, if you can do it yourself and do it yourself. No one is like begging you to like pay me to do it yourself. Like, I don’t want to do it anyways. And I was like talking with this person who sent the story and I was like, so did you end up working with them? Like what happened? And yes, she ended up working with them. And yes, they were horrible. And she will never ever work with him again, even if they were a huge target Sephora brand so again, like the big names do not mean as much as we give them credit for and you wonder they’re going to be crappy client and you’re having red flag like it’s not going to be worth it. babes. Don’t freakin do it.
Okay, okay, next story. These stories are so fun like this seriously ups this this podcast episode always gives me so much life.
Oh, I have a story for you. So I had this amazing client that came to me who she was so lovely when we first met, and she’s a coach in the more like, kind of Feminine Empowerment space and was doing some really cool work was very experienced. I’ve been doing it for a very long time. And we initiated like a brand strategy. Then we went into a visual identity and then creating her website. And over the course of that everything was so clear, we had developed her starving audience, it was like, it was just so so clear. And as we neared the end of the project, when I needed her to send in copy revisions and feedback for the website, she sabotaged the entire thing because of her own resistance, and pretty much transitioned her entire business to get let me just wait for it. Wait for it to doing brand strategy. It was the most fucking out of left field thing ever. She’s still doing it totally canceled our entire agreement, all this stuff, it was the craziest situation. Andoh my gosh, why? There is organisms wild.Now she offers people like business strategy and brand. She calls it brand strategy. But that’s not what it is at all. And it’s just totally bizarre. And she is a perfect example of somebody just having so much resistance to them feeling so clear and just in line with what they’re doing, and trying to do some wack shit instead. So yeah, maybe that will be a nice one for your podcast. Oh, sorry. I forgot to also mention that she then later, after refusing to pay me after we had to cancel the agreement and just like change some things around it was just a nightmare. And I just wanted her out of my space. She then came back to me and wanted me to finish her website for her and wanted me to change all of the messaging and all of these things to this new this new direction that she was going in because she’s so clear about branding now. And it was the most like a horrible, disrespectful approach. She then wanted me to do that work for free. And when I presented her with a number when I said look, I just want this to be done so we can be complete. I like thought maybe I’ll just do it and just get it done so that I have that website for my portfolio because it’s actually amazing. And she then refused to pay and said no, you should do it for free. So basically, she’s no longer in my space.
Oh, my gosh. Okay, literally. I feel like I know who this person is. Like, I really genuinely feel like I know who this person’s client is because I have again, how do you another really similar experience like this? Like okay, wait, I have got to do a little bit of research and some digging. Like maybe not. Maybe not, I’m doing digging and Okay, reason why I’m like I really feel like we had the same client is because this exact same thing happened to me exactly where we had done the design had done the branding it was beautiful. But then like at the oh yeah new website coming soon no no I don’t think it was the same. That’s wild. Oh my gosh
Anyways, I had a client exactly like this. And they were like, we had created this beautiful franchise that was so fit for their personality and then all of a sudden they were like, Nope, I’m gonna do something totally different with my business. Now granted, I don’t think this person that I had worked with did brand strategy. But they just had decided to do like a one ad on their business. They hired actually someone else to do their logo. Because I was like, Are there new websites I was like, I am not going to do your new brand with this whole on this new website with his whole new one ad because I designed a website for this. And so they went to someone else and got it done for really, really cheap. And oh my gosh, like if you’re like wow, Carly, the fact that you relate to all these stories is really scary. Yeah, I know when I tell you I have like a year full of clients from hell. I am not kidding. I am absolutely not kidding. But this story it definitely talks about because she goes back and she does grand strategy. And I also feel like this is this is like the reason why coaches and why so many online entrepreneurs get so much crap for doing what they love and what they’re good at because they have been so scammed by so many people who are like I’m gonna do brand strategy and they don’t do brand strategy yet they call it brand strategy you know what I mean? Like you’re not doing the industry any favors by doing someone else’s skill poorly. Like just because you want to be someone else and you want to have that skill doesn’t mean you can just all of a sudden call yourself like a brand strategist expert and then start charging for it like you need to do the training you need to have the clients and the expertise to back it up.
So people like that I just really really frustrates me because it brings the entire industry down ah, that is really frustrating Okay, this next one I actually got like a little bit of an inside peek ATS because they are a student of mine. That’s all I’m gonna say because I want to keep it anonymous, but I got to like see the behind the scenes while this was all happening and we kind of like helped her through it. But getting the full story to it was a good one.
So buckle up, peeps. Here we go. So I met with a client let’s call her Abby has seemed so freakin perfect like a dream client. Then when it came time to purchase, she was super hesitant about pricing and I wanted to work with her so badly that it gave her a huge discount. Like the client I immediately could picture the new brand and website. She was also one of my only local clients. So I agreed to do the strategy session in person. Well, that day arrives and she shows up with her husband. I assumed he would wait in the car since it was summer. I didn’t say anything and like a good southern girl. I said come on in and I’ll get y’all cold glass sweet tea waiting. You go girl. Well, this husband sat down at the table. We were doing a two ish hour strategy session and immediately started quizzing me on my credentials and everything like WTF I had already been hired and paid. And he said he looked at my LinkedIn and Okay, well, I didn’t know this. He said he looked at my LinkedIn and saw that I went to a local university. And he’d also just come from the dean’s office who was his friend? Oh, I didn’t know you were just the dean. Oh my gosh, I would I would die. I immediately let him know that I dropped out with only two classes left to finish, but I was going through a really bad miscarriage and then it seemed like a good idea to spend the money to go back. It just never seemed like a good idea to spend the money to go back because it was a very expensive private university that credits wouldn’t transfer outside because it’s Christian. Yeah, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t either. I felt like he had gone to the dentist to inquire about me specifically, it felt so off and like I was being scolded like a child felt we get into our session and come to find out they are a 10 mil $10 million company, which really pissed me off is I lower the price to almost half off. Then they make comments like they have good connections. And if I did a good job, they would connect me. They always say that they always do. Then we get into the heart story for his wife’s company. Which by the way, if that none of you guys do heart story, you should go check out Mr. natters heart story. It’s really really good. We get into the heart story of his wife’s company and keep in mind that I am not even looking at him anymore. Just her and she starts to tell me about her heart story and this mother effer start saying no, I don’t think it’s that it’s when we first it’s When we first met what a freakin narcissist what like he’s basically this guy if you don’t know what the whole story is, is basically like what is the one story of your business that like if you’re not even your business but your life that like you want your business and life to like continually reflect like what experience do you want to keep reliving over and over again like, and this dude is like so out there and he’s gonna say no it’s the time you first met me like no other moment of your life is going to be as equally important to the time you met him like what? Like I would was so pissed. So she backed off and would only let me use and would only let me use that heart story every question I asked he answered for her. Then at the end he said he was going in the military and that leaders will give recruits a special coin to represent that they are going to help them grow and he gave me a military coin thing and he said that he will help raise me up What? What?
That is weird. Maybe it’s not weird. I don’t know if anyone in the military is like no, that’s actually really cool. Let me know but that sounds weird. I don’t get that. Like WTF I just down there. I just stood there and was so dumbfounded for a second and I was so super nice telling them how good it was to me the you know, lying my ass off. Um, so this session was supposed to be two hours and it turned into almost five I would be dead. Pass away simply. I wash them out to the car and then he turns around and looks at me and says, Oh no, no. If you learned anything from this session, I hope you learned that you need to finish your degree. Like what nobody asked you sir. Nobody. I smiled and said okay, I’ll think about it but I don’t think so. I think that’s probably what I would have said two out of it. Like, okay, like, sometimes again, when people are saying stupid shit things to you like at your face. You just don’t even know how to respond because you’re like, like, why would you say that? Like what? And so you just say something nice. And then later you think of like I shouldn’t put them in this place and stuff anyways. What the fetch? I was mortified. I can think of a million Okay, I just read those. I can think of a million better comebacks now but I was just so effing shocked oh my gosh, that’s funny. Yeah, exactly what I just said. I think the wife was also mortified and after that I never saw him again and we only did virtual meetings. Yay. Yes, yes. Yes, I should be mortified for him the project actually came on amazing and I have continued to work with her but damn that was the worst strategy session I’ve ever done and we actually had to redo the strategy with her once we met virtually after she asked to go back from originally spiritual Strategy Session oh my gosh I didn’t know all those details of like exactly what he said I just knew it was like bad and he was a narcissist and just like a total man Splinter but that was like the specific things he said that is so bad I am so sorry that you had to go through that that is absolutely traumatic like I hope you learned something.
Let’s see, make sure we got everybody. okay, let me pull this up pull these up over there… My gosh, I have to please work please work. I have to voice message stories and are not playing oh my gosh, pause and come back and try and figure out these oh my god, I’m so excited. I was not able to get my voice messages on ice over at podcast Instagram working but I finally got them working. So I have two more stories to share with you and then we’re done. And these are voice message one time. They’re looking good. I’m excited. I’m assuming that for client horror stories are going to be anonymous. So this one in particular it happened Between November and last week. So to start off red flag from the very beginning, she’s a real estate agent. I do not like working with real estate agents. They’re just very hard to work with. And they’re kind of picky, and they assume that we can read their minds. So basically, all she wanted was like very basic logos and a website because her website just needed to be like the main focus. And that’s like, the thing that she just wanted to me to do. So basically, we were going back and forth with like, the logos for like four weeks. And I’m like, this was supposed to be like a one week thing, but she was so indecisive. And then, like after paying the downpayment, a few weeks went by, and she was supposed to pay the second payment. But I was like, Yeah, I’m not gonna send you anything until you send me the second payment. And she goes, Well, it’s been weeks. And it says, in the contract that you were supposed to send me all these things, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, well, that doesn’t say on the contract. That’s what it says on the welcome Guide, which is not a contract. I don’t know, kinda like, they’re completely different documents, whatever. And so I was like, Yeah, whatever, I’ll just, like, send you all these things. And so we were just going back and forth with these logo ideas, and she didn’t like any of them. And I’m like, well, all your main focus is your website, I’m just gonna do some basic logo designs and stuff like that. So that’s what I did. And she was very unclear with like, what direction she wanted me to go with, like, regarding the logos, but like all the pins that we shared on Pinterest, and like the phone calls, all we had, I was following everything, everything that she told me to do. But she was just like, No, I don’t like that. And I’m like, okay, then what’s wrong, like, I don’t understand what you’re talking about. And so basically, this was going on since like November, and all away from like, Halloween until like, last week, until she just emails me out of the blue and goes, Hey, it looks like you copied a logo from Canva. And I don’t want to use that logo. And I’m like white. So she accused me of me copying a logo that she supposedly saw on Canva, which I honestly don’t get on Canva for logo inspiration, I just go on Pinterest and Instagram.
I don’t even know how to use Canva to like to design logos and everything. I just don’t go on that side. I just use Canva to design like Instagram posts, or documents. That’s it. But then this lady is telling me that I copied a logo from Canva. No. And then she goes, You know what, like, I’m not being so clear. Let’s just terminate the project and refund me the last payment. And I’m like a Buddha she thinks she is. So that last email that she sent over, she sent it to me, like last Wednesday, like around like 7pm. And I was just like, you know, not in my office. And when I was reading this email, I was just like, What the heck? Like, why, like, I was just so confused. And then I was like, How could someone accuse me of copyright with like, a Canva logo, like, I don’t do that. But I was just like, this is like very unprofessional for her to say. And then on the contract, it says like, you can’t be unprofessional with the brand designer. So I was just like, you know, what, whatever. But I wanted to email her immediately. But I was like, No, do not email someone when you’re furious. And when you’re not in the office, so maybe just like, email her the next day. So the next day, I was like feeling better about this whole situation that I was able to tell her and like Yeah, well, within my eight years of experience, I’ve never copied a logo before. And she thinks that she that I got the logo from Canva and then just put the name of her business on there. I’m like I don’t design logos like this. And then like before this whole like email, she even sent me an email saying, Hey, can you send me the file? So I can make edits to the brand icon? I’m like you can’t sent over or I can’t do that to you. Because like, that is so unrealistic.
That is not okay. Unless you want me to or unless you want to pay for the file, then yeah, that’s like an $1,000 extra charge. Because like, I can’t just give it to you for free. It’s not yours until you pay for it, you know? So any of the way the email that I sent her after I was like, calm down, I was like, Yeah, well, thank you for, I appreciate the work that we’ve done together. Like all the designs that I’ve done in my eight years of experience are 100% my designs, I do not copy, I take inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. And I was I don’t know if something like that. And all my work that or everything that I’ve done so far is non refundable. But you will get the logos that you approved, and we can terminate the contract here. And if you want to talk about this over the phone, let me know. And so basically, I sent her the files. And then all she said was thank you for your time. And then I was like, okay, cool. So she was a nightmare to work with. Real estate agents are not my ideal client, like they have never been my ideal clients are just difficult to work with. But yeah, I think that is it. I think I missed some spoilers, but uh, well. So what helped me heal within like this, “traumatic experience,” was that while we both ended the contract, we terminated the contract at both ends. And then I was just like, gonna, I’m just gonna put a boundary, like, really high boundary within like this industry because realtors are just for like, I haven’t had a great experience working with realtors in the past. But I gave this lady a chance because she’s, should we have like, the same connections and everything. So I was like, okay, cool. Yeah, whatever. But, but they’re great people to talk to. They’re great people to network with. They, I like hanging out with them. It’s just that I don’t like working with them. They’re completely different people. They’re just, I don’t know. But yeah, boundaries within realtors. That’s what I’m going to do. So yeah.
And honestly, like, I have found that with a few of my clients too, like, I like that she put that little piece of advice. And because there’s a lot of people that like, I’m like, Yeah, we could probably, like, be friends or like, be cool, you know, in a real life situation where we’re face to face. And we’re not doing business together. But in a situation where you are hiring me like, I don’t necessarily agree with how you lead and how you give feedback. Like, it’s a totally different side of a person that like we don’t ever take into account. And it’s really hard to be able to see that stuff before you actually work with someone. I mean, after you have a few heart experiences, this is one positive having hard for instance, like this, you kind of are able to see like, see those when you’re talking with people. Man, it is rough. And it’s okay to say you know, what I don’t want to work with like a person that has feedback cues that are like this, or, or I don’t even know just like, even if it’s not a red flag, and it’s like something that you have a hard time working with. Like, the whole point of working together is to have a successful collaboration. And so if you guys aren’t gonna work together, they should go hire someone else that they are going to have a successful relationship work. And so I feel like even more so than like, you know, does this person have a good budget? Does this person have the timeframe that I need like matching personalities, but making sure the relationship and the collaboration is gonna work is huge in working with people to Sancerre I’m so sorry this happened to you. That does not sound fun.
My story is so long but I’m going to try and make it quick. So my disaster client ended up being the first website design project that I had ever sold to somebody. And I had always been using show it and was comfortable with show it that was what I had taken courses on. Well, she wanted to use Wix and because I wanted the money I agreed to do Wix only if we used a template that was already provided, and I would be plugging the branding in. I also brought my best friend into this as a copywriter. So that was a whole nother thing, but there was a lot of red flags at the beginning that I took as yellow and orange flags And so I took on the project, just to like, keep it super short. By the end of the project, we had 100 email chains, because she didn’t want to use the direct messaging system that was that I had provided.
Oh my gosh, okay, pause really quick if a client is refusing to use, like your recommended form of communication, in my contract, and in my welcome guide, it says that, I cannot guarantee that everything that you will say, if you don’t use our recommended form of communication is going to be implemented, because it’s confusing, it’s gonna get lost, it’s chaotic. It’s easier to have all in one place and a place that you as the designer are familiar with. And so I put on my contract, I’m like, if you don’t put your feedback in the form, like, I can’t guarantee it’s not gonna be there, because I can’t guarantee you’re gonna see it.
She had accused my best friend of plagiarizing, and she accused me of using somebody overseas, when my best friend has like a bachelor’s in English. She accused me of copying work from Pinterest. She told me I had the design skills of a high schooler that I wasn’t qualified to be offering the work I’d been doing. I’d already been offering like design services for two years. So she was just my first website design. So yeah, she wanted all of her money back. But I was actually did the whole project on Contra, which is a freelancing platform. And she had actually signed a contract that said, if she wanted to make any changes, which she had kept requesting, like I do additional work and adding additional pages which I refused. But she we had signed a contract that if she had, I’ve worked on like influencer stuff with Contra. I really liked them. I have never actually worked with a client from Contra, but like, we’ve done a few collaborations together. And I really liked their team. I think they’re really nice. So to quested any requests at any more work than what was agreed to in the contract that gave me rights to break the contract. So anyways, we did it on a freelancing platform and that’s really what saved my ass because contract was brought in. And they actually brought in a dispute team and like had a virtual meeting with her and a virtual meeting with me to decide like, where things went wrong, they read every piece of email that was sent and they looked at every piece of design that I design down to like my source files, along with my copywriters work. And they ended up ruling in my favor and told me that like they apologized to me that I had this disaster client and they ended up paying me the entirety of the project and reimbursing her money like they came out of their own pocket to help me with that. So yeah, that’s that was my disaster quiet. It was awful. And I have a lot of PTSD when taking on website design projects because of this.
Okay, wow, I really liked contra before I had never worked with him personally. But now I even love them more and I feel like I want to do more collaborations with them. Because I love that contra did this which by the way contra it’s kind of like a replacement for Fiverr but it’s more like creative friendly obviously from this experience that’s really cool that contract came in and like resolved that for you i I’m gonna say this that I feel like if you were someone who was starting out I would work with Contra and try and find clients on contract because it sounds like that team that dispute team sounds amazing and I really wish I would have had that when I had first started so wow yay for contract also I’m so I am so sorry you have this that’s not fun at all. That sounds like a horrible experience and I think we can all relate to that one.
Okay, that is everything for this episode with all of our nightmare episodes are all of our nightmare client stories. If you want to work with us and you don’t want to have any more nightmare client you can always apply to work with us through 10k girl gang it’s just an awesome community like I said like with one of these stories I was able to like work with one of our members of 10k Gigi and like work through this with her and there’s a whole community standing behind her of like yes you’re in the right this is you’re doing a good job like don’t do this do this you’re awesome and just to be that support system. It’s seriously life changing. Part of the reason why I loved and you grow thanks so much. It’s just the people in it like they are truly amazing and they stick around for ever. I hope they never leave because I frickin love the whole entire 10 Gig girl gang and every time we get a new member I’m like yes, this is just like we get a new best friend. It’s so fun. So anyways if you want to go apply in get A T is gotta go play you can go do that at 10k GirlGang.com And we’ll review your application and talk to you later.
April 26, 2023